How to Improve Patient Retention Rate & Earn More Revenue

Melissa LuVisi
May 12, 2022 | 3 min read

Did you know that an average dental practice loses over 20% of its patients? That’s one of the highest attrition rates in healthcare.

Yet, improving patient retention is key to a profitable practice. Retaining a patient costs less than to acquire a new one, while returning patients are more likely to commit to high-value procedures. 

When we help tab32 customers migrate to our cloud dental software, we analyze the data to understand the cost of patient attrition.

For instance, a dental practice with a few years in business has 2,000 active patients (i.e., patients seen within the past 18 months) and around the same number of inactive patients. If each patient has an average lifetime value (LTV) of $1,000, these inactive patients cost the practice $2 million in lost revenue opportunities!

When we dug deeper, we found that a modest 2-3% improvement in patient retention rate over 3 years would increase a practice’s value by $100,000, assuming a valuation at 80% of practice revenue. An effective patient retention strategy is, therefore, key to running a sustainable and profitable dental practice.

So what’s the secret to retaining more patients and increasing revenue?

The Foundation of Effective Dental Patient Retention 

The most important thing to keep in mind is the patient experience, which consists of all the touches and communications any time a prospect or patient interacts with your practice.

However, many owners and managers make the mistake of thinking that sending appointment confirmations and reminders is enough. Yet, they’re only a small piece of the much bigger puzzle.

Decreasing the patient attrition rate by 2-3% may not sound like a lot, but meticulous planning is required to achieve that outcome. You not only have to provide outstanding services and treatment outcomes, but you also need to deliver a seamless experience before and (long) after a visit.

Here’s how you can improve communication across various touchpoints as patients interact with your practice at different stages:

  • Attract new patients with an easy-to-use online booking system.
  • Send reminders with relevant information about the upcoming treatment.
  • Reduce frustrating errors and wait time with e-forms
  • Use interactive charts to communicate treatment plans effectively.
  • Streamline billing through e-statement and online payments.
  • Send incomplete treatment or recare reminders.
  • Use post-visit communications to stay in touch.
  • Offer teledentistry services to make it easy to follow up and get care.

Managing patient relationships across all these stages and delivering a cohesive patient experience via multiple channels is complex, especially if you have to coordinate data from disparate systems and manually search for information such as incomplete treatments.

Deliver an Outstanding Patient Experience With All-in-one Cloud Dental Software

Delivering an excellent patient experience starts with the ability to leverage patient data to inform timely and relevant communications. An integrated cloud dental software can give you visibility into every step of the patient journey to send the right message at the right time through the right channels.

For example, tab32’s intelligent software can scan through patient records on the EHR application to uncover incomplete treatments. The system will automatically send an email or text reminder to the patient with a link to book an appointment online.

After booking the appointment, the patient will get email or text reminders. They can even fill out e-forms (e.g., consent forms) ahead of time to streamline their visits. Lastly, you can send out statements via email or text with an online payment link to make settling their bills as easy as possible.

Here at tab32, we have carefully studied every element in the patient journey to create an integrated dental practice management solution to help you run a successful practice, bring in new patients, and keep them around. With the seamless and automated workflows, nothing is left to chance.

Contact us for a free one-on-one demo to see how we can help you keep your patients coming back.Book a demo now!

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